The Night the Bradley Effect swallowed John McCain
It is a tragic, painful disease that frequently leaves its victims writhing in confusion as they try desperately to muzzle the conflicting voices raging inside their heads. Strangely enough, this disease only seems to make its appearance during election season – and it only afflicts white people.
We are talking, of course, about The Bradley Effect. A disease contracted by whites, even though the ultimate damaging effects are experienced most acutely by blacks.
Only in America.
A relatively young virus that first made its appearance in California when the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley attempted to run for Governor in 1982, The Bradley Effect was named for its first and most widely known victim. Assumed to be ahead in the polls due largely to numerous interviews of whites who claimed they intended to vote for the man who would have been the state’s first black governor, Bradley and his supporters felt comfortable in the belief that a page had been turned and whites were no longer willing to allow the chocolate boogeyman of race to chase them away from voting in their own best interest. Tom Bradley was confident he was going to be the man who proved to California – and to the nation – that the declining significance of race was a reality.
But then a funny thing happened on the way to the polls…
Those same whites who smiled at interviewers and who said they absolutely had no problem voting for ‘that one’ suddenly experienced an inexplicable transformation upon entering the voting booth. Once ensconced in the privacy of their own thoughts, with no one to answer to but their own demons, they simply could not follow through on their enlightened intentions. The dancing, prancing spectre of the boogeyman was simply too real, causing their hands to shake uncontrollably whenever they tried to make the choice for Bradley. Ultimately they gave the finger to enlightenment and sided with the reliable comforts of convention.
Besides, who would know? Maybe next time…
So now here we are, standing smack dab in the middle of that next time where ‘B’ marks the spot. There have reportedly been anonymous sightings of the boogeyman, and doctors in certain predominantly white areas are reporting a rise in patients displaying symptoms of what, at first, appears to be the Bradley Effect.
Only this time there is a very significant difference. Whereas the earlier Bradley-era victims of the disease, when tested, betrayed the telltale hand tremors whenever they were exposed to a Bradley campaign photo, those whites tested today in the era of Obama are betraying what can only be described as symptoms of a reverse Bradley effect. These whites, it should be noted, tend to be located in areas heavily populated with McCain/Palin lawn signs. Although they angrily and forcefully pledge allegiance to Republican orthodoxy whenever they are prompted to do so (by cattle prod and other common methods), it is interesting to note the lack of tremor or any other negative reaction to photos and/or videos of Obama. In fact, some have even been seen to smile and wink – albeit briefly – when they believed no one was looking.
So what does it all mean? Is there a new ‘silent majority’ out there hidden in the midst of enemy territory standing ready to push Obama over the top? Perhaps so, my friends. Perhaps so.
But what you’ve just read is (partially) fiction. The cold hard truth says you’d better get your ass to the polls tomorrow and drag somebody with you. Otherwise we might be seeing the boogeyman for real…